w/nr 3615 (PARTS ONLY) MUSEUM ACCESSION NUMBER X005-0836
Twin-engined fighter aircraft allotted to Luftwaffe unit 4 /ZG76 with fuselage code M8+MM and ‘shark’s mouth’ nose artwork. The Bf110 C-series was introduced in January 1939.
30 Aug 40 Shot down on this Friday afternoon by RAF fighters during escort mission – a daylight raid on the Vauxhall Motors factory at Luton, Beds and crashed into the corner of a field bordering Claggybottom Lane at Barley Beans Farm, Kimpton, near Hitchin, Herts at 4.30pm; totally destroyed in the ensuing crash having hit the ground vertically at high speed.
The Bf110 was escorting He111 bombers of KG 53 which had intended to bomb the Handley Page aerodrome at Radlett, Herts; they became detached from the rest of the formation and found the Vauxhall plant at Luton, releasing 59 bombs onto the factory and its surrounding area. The engineering section of the works was badly hit and one direct hit killed seven people sheltering beneath a stairway. In Luton 20 people were killed and 174 injured – 49 seriously. The factory was back in production within six days.
Jointly shot down by two Hawker Hurricane Mk Is, flown by Flying Officer Ludwik W. Paszkiewicz of Northolt-based No. 303 (Polish) Squadron’s B Flight and Pilot Officer B J Wicks of North Weald based No 56 Squadron. Claimed as the first Polish victory during the Battle of Britain (though initially mis-identified as a Do 17); 303 (Polish) Squadron, not at that time operational, were actually on a training flight. Their chance interception of the Heinkels inspired a well-known scene in the 1969 ‘Battle of Britain’ feature film, and led to the Squadron being declared operational the following day, to the great joy of the Polish pilots. Sadly, Paszkiewicz, having gained six kills and the DFC, was killed In Action shortly afterwards in the crash of Hurricane L1696/RF-M at Crowhurst Farm, Borough Green, Kent on 27 September 1940; he is buried in Northwood Cemetery.
The Bf110’s crew were both seasoned veterans of the French campaign. After a desperate effort to evade the Hurricanes, Paskiewicz’s guns knocked out the Bf110s starboard engine; when PO Wicks joined in the attack Nordmeir baled out as the aircraft rolled over inverted, breaking up as it went into a vertical dive, the tailplane breaking off as it went down. The aircraft hit a row of mature elm trees, which sheared off the wings outboard of each engine and shattered the cockpit and fuselage, with large sections of wing structure and fuselage fragments scattered around the crater. Larger portions of wreckage were removed on an RAF Queen Mary trailer some days after the crash.
The pilot, 27-year old Oberfw. Georg Anthony was killed in the resulting crash; Bordfunker (radio operator/rear gunner) Uffz. Heinrich Nordmeyer/Nordmeir (alternative spellings recorded) captured paralysed having baled out at low level and suffered a broken back; after hospital treatment he became a Prisoner of War.
Anthony was buried with full military honours in Hitchin, where his grave still remains today.
1982 Large pieces of wreckage excavated by the donor’s father from a depth of some eight feet into stony clay at the crash site, now known as Ramridge Farm, using a JCB. Recognisable components included both DB601A engines (X005-0837/38) and their separated propeller hubs, two 20mm cannon in their blast tubes, both undercarriage legs, a badly compressed radiator, and a NMW enamel engine badge together with several boxes of severely damaged smaller components, which were all then stored at the farm until acquired by the RAF Museum. The starboard engine still bore evidence of bullet strikes and fire damage.
2009 Parts donated to RAFM by the current farmer, Mr David Manning.
13 Oct 2009 Parts collected from farm by RAFM and taken to RAFM MBCC Cosford for initial assessment and storage.